Me: NINE HOURS OF SLEEP, STEAMY SHOWER WITH PINE AND MINT ESSENCE, NASAL RINSE, SALT-WATER GARGLE, ANTIHISTAMINE NASAL SPRAY, STEROID NASAL SPRAY, CLARITIN, AGGRESSIVE TOOTHBRUSHING
My body: —look, forget i said anything, okay?
I refuse to get sick. REFUSE. R E F U S E. J has had a horrid cough for a week and is on antibiotics and prednisone (when they prescribe prednisone to the guy with insomnia, you know it's bad), X is wrapping up a course of antibiotics for a throat infection, and J had to do that for his own throat infection last month. So far I've been fighting off all the respiratory bugs Kit brings home from daycare, but I don't take my ability to do that for granted. And I can't take most antibiotics without serious mood effects because apparently I depend on my gut flora for emotional management, so I have to be extremely diligent about my preventive care.
I'm going to go have spicy curry for lunch and drink some ginger honey tea. Fuck off, germs.
The Independent: Steve Bannon: Trump 'decides to remove chief strategist' from White House role
CBS live updates (warning: autoplays stuff)
"A person close to Bannon" said it was TOTALLY HIS IDEA Y'ALL, IT'S ALL PART OF HIS MASTER PLAN DON'T YOU SEE.
ETA: Recommended: http://plaidadder.tumblr.com/post/
Solidarity Cville: Donate -- suggestions and links for local groups to support
Indivisble: Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville - Find an Event
The Nation: Here’s What You Can Do After Charlottesville
Indivisible: Are Your Members of Congress Doing Enough to Respond to the Charlottesville Terrorist Attack? -- though this is several days old and therefore lacks a script for HOLY FUCK THE PRESIDENT IS DEFENDING NEO-NAZIS (EVEN MORE) WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
SPLC releases new edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate guide after Charlottesville attack
Politico: GOP chairmen resist hearings on white supremacy
They don't want it. Demand it.
plaidadder: Three Democratic members of the House have introduced a censure resolution.
You can read the text here.
Censure is a formal reprimand. It is not legally binding, but it is rare, and Sends a Message. MoveOn.org originally organized around a campaign to get Congress to censure Clinton instead of impeaching him.
This may be an attempt to accomplish something less difficult than impeachment; or it may be a trial run to see how many Republicans are ready to jump from the Trump Train.
ETA: Politico: Pelosi endorses censure of Trump over Charlottesville response -- apparently at least 79 Democrats have signed.
Not directly Charlottesville-related, but interesting and could be worth asking your reps to support:
H.R.1987 - Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act
To steal Wikipedia's explanation: "This bill would replace the Cabinet as the body that, together with the Vice President, determines whether Section 4 should be invoked. Under the bill, an eleven-member commission would conduct an examination of the President when directed to do so by a concurrent resolution of the Congress."
(Which, basically, shifts the power to forcibly 25th-Amendment the President back towards Congress to a greater degree, as opposed to depending entirely on the Cabinet which that President apppointed.)
- If your idea of ~love~ involves submitting me to violence then that's abuse not love. I'm not here for privileged people insisting that disprivileged people should ~love~ violent abusers such as racists and fascists.
- My crisps claim they were cooked by Andre7. I'm now trying to work out if there are likely to be seven people called Andre working in a regional English crisp factory, or whether Andre7 is some sort of clone or android who needs rescuing. /Seven of Nine
- Reading, books 2017: 82. I've now reached all my unwritten reading goals for 2017 except my total goal which escalates, 26 to 52 to 104. Novels, adult: 26 (+2 short story collections). Poetry: 13. Books given away: 52.
78. Letters From Klara, by Tove Jansson (translated by Thomas Teal), 1991 (this translation 2017), short stories. Warning for an oblique reference to the Holocaust in the story My Friend Karin, while at least three other stories evoke mental health problems and/or suicidal thoughts. I personally found the stories in Letters From Klara generally life affirming, always insightful, and often wryly amusing, but I'm aware that many readers seem to find Ms Jansson's adult short stories bleak and disturbing: I suspect this depends on the mental state brought by the reader. (5/5, goodreads = 54 ratings / 8 reviews 3.5/5)
• Goodbye: They said their goodbyes in the front hall, with an affection that was perfectly genuine but that committed them to nothing.
• Weathering: By morning the storm had passed.
His jeans had dried. One day he'll find the boatbuilder's address in his back pocket.
• Something nasty in the woodshed... literally: Since the summer is over tomorrow, I've nailed shut the door to the woodshed. Sometimes it's good to make a decision. But I'm going to show the murals to my daughter.
• On returning from a sneaky smoke break while staying with one's overly religious and puritanical extended family, lol: When I got back, I stopped in the doorway and burst out, "How nice it smells here - just like home!"
Aunt Elsa said, "It's denatured alcohol. We're washing the windows."
• Hattitude: They began their trip by boat. Their friends stood on the quay and waved. Up on deck, Mama was clearly visible with her white hair and her large light grey hat, broad-brimmed, strict, with a low crown - the very epitome of hatness. She hadn't changed her headgear since 1912.
In reality I was only able to go for the long weekend. I spent an eye-watering amount of money on a trip that didn't quite work for me, between flights, accommodation, Worldcon membership (when I actually only ended up attending for half a day), and just general living expenses in a not very well planned trip to an expensive city. It feels churlish to complain about being in a position to spend a bit too much on a less than perfect trip, and in many ways it was good, just not quite what I'd hoped for.
( more details )
Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, of Sayre, Oklahoma, is accused of trying to detonate a 1,000-pound vehicle bomb in downtown Oklahoma City, an attack he wanted to claim with a Facebook message proclaiming that “the time for revolution is now.”
Pretty sure he has “mental issues”, was teased at school and emotionally abused by his parents, who refused to buy him a new gaming system.
I live in Tulsa and remember the OKC bombing very well. How horrifying it was to see the firemen and other rescue workers carrying dead and dying CHILDREN out of the rubble.
So this is really frightening.
I want to point out a couple things though.
From what I understand, the feds were on to this guy, the bomb was fake and thanks to the feds, who DID do their jobs here, there was never any risk to the public. He was under close surveillance all the way and only picked up after he pushed the button he thought would detonate it, so that he can receive the maximum sentence possible.
That said, he didn’t actually blow anything up, and so the crime carries only a five to twenty year sentence, meaning this meth-fueled sack of shit will be back on the streets pretty quickly, so … that’s not great.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2v7kdY7
Tomorrow the washing machine comes.
Today, I belatedly ordered spouse's anniversary gift. I told him this. He went, "But I didn't get you anything." I told him the washer could count. He said that sounded like something that should get him in trouble instead. OTOH, not having to go to the laundromat is certainly a win...
Plus all his clothes are permanent-press, and transporting those -- they have to hang to get the folds right -- would be pretty tricky or impossible to do from the laundromat. (Which made me realize that permanent-press is a status marker along the lines of "owns house and washer/dryer." The next status marker up is "send everything out to be dry-cleaned," I suspect? Which then removes the need for house and washer/dryer, probably due to living in a studio apartment downtown that costs eleventy zillion a month and has a spectacular view and white chairs...)
Portuguese version of Legend of the Morning Star should be up on the Zon now. And now I can fix... the copyright date. *headdesk*
(Please continue good thoughts for my friend who dearly, dearly needs them.)
M__ needs to rant about Secret Empire again.
M__ thought he purged all the toxin. But then comics this week came out.
-----------------------Quoted by M__------------------------
M__: Wow, I'm glad Secret Empire can't get worse...
Marvel: HOLD MY BEER!
( INwatch+Bookwatch )
( Dragons under fold )
And they signed love back.
Kit: [earnestly signing love at the camera]
My baby told me they love me. I'll just be here in a little melted puddle forever.
Honey & Soy Tofu with Sweet Potato ‘Noodles’
Sweet potato is one of the few vegetables (side from potatoes) that my boys love. Needless to say, I’m always trying to come up with new ways to use the sweet spud.
While chopping into chip shapes and roasting in coconut oil is my go-to move, these spiralized ‘noodles’ are a close second. They do take a little more active time to prepare, but I’ve found little fingers love getting the spiralizer out. And they only take 10 minutes in the oven so they’re pretty quick.
I was surprised how much they both love tofu. It’s a great staple to have in the fridge for when you need some last minute protein. My favourite ways to use tofu are in an easy tofu scramble, as a tasty ragu, these tofu ‘steaks’ or pan fried and given a flavour boost with some honey and soy like in the recipe below.
Make sure you buy firm tofu (rather than silken) and organic so there’s less likelihood of the soy being genetically modified.
enough for: 2-3 children
takes: 20 minutes
1 medium sweet potato
1/2 pack firm tofu (about 175g / 6oz)
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 small bunch coriander (cilantro)
1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Scrub sweet potato and spiralize into medium ‘noodles’.
2. Place noodles on an oven proof baking tray. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes or until ‘noodles’ are tender and cooked through.
3. Meanwhile slice tofu into 3 bricks about 1cm (1/3in) thick. Pan fry on a medium high heat with a little oil until golden brown on both sides.
4. Mix honey and soy sauce in a medium bowl. When the tofu is cooked, chop into bite sized chunks and toss in the honey and soy sauce.
5. To serve, divide warm sweet potato between 2-3 bowls. Top with tofu and sauce and coriander leaves (if using).
extra crunch – serve with roast cashews or sesame seeds.
green-free – skip the coriander or replace with cashews or sesame seeds.
soy-free – replace with chicken thigh or breast fillets and adjust cooking time as needed.
carb-lovers – toss in cooked noodles or spaghetti with the sweet potato. Or serve everything with steamed rice.
low carb – replace sweet potato with 2 medium zucchini. And consider the chicken instead of the tofu. For more low carb ideas, see my other website Deliciously Diabetic. If you’re keeping things super low carb use a pinch of stevia instead of the honey.
no spiralizer – chop the sweet potato into shoestring fingers and increase the cooking time until they are tender (about 20 minutes depending on your knife skills). If you’re thinking about investing in a spiralizer, you might enjoy this article: Do You Need A Spiralizer?
other veg – carrots are also good.
sweeter – feel free to increase the honey.
gluten-free – use tamari or other gluten-free soy sauce.
different sauces – oyster or hoisin sauce can be used instead of the honey and soy.
more grown-up – toss in a little grated ginger and/or finely chopped garlic with the soy. And chopped green onions add lovely colour to the noodles. A few finely chopped red chillies wouldn’t go astray either. Or serve with Marco’s Chilli Oil.
I always worry about tearing it, you know? In the showbiz sense. Breaking credibility, within a context, even if that context is pretty incredible (in the sense of not credible) to begin with, like Overwatch. And I kind of feel like I'm dancing up to that line with that chapter, with Venom as a character.
If people make it through Terrifying in Flight, I think chapter seven ("Is It Good Enough For You, Still?") will clarify some things. Angela thought, in chapter six, "that's a lie," and she was correct. But I can't put that in front of chapter six, I can't say, "trust me here," because, well, y'can't do that, it doesn't make sense.
Questions of identity float around in Old Soldiers, and this is part of that arc, and and and and.
"Letting us take the first shot, then?" Gabriel Reyes asked Venom, eyeing the new intel sent along on sideband. "We got Sombra's location reports - thank you."
The Talon assassin nodded. "Yeh. I..." she frowned. "Gabe, luv, I'm gonna get this out there. I voted no. But I lost, so I'll go along."
"I appreciate that." Reyes gave Oxton a considering look. "You sure, though? The way you stormed out..."
The assassin nodded. "I've got my reasons, and I've made my promises - to Amélie - and I keep 'em." Just ask G/C Henderson, she thought, Oh wait, you can't, he's dead. The memory made her smile, just a little. Small but lasting comforts.
"Glad to hear it. Thank you," replied the tactical advisor. Promises to the Widowmaker? That'd do it. "We collectively - all of us at Overwatch, Tracer possibly excepted - want to bring him to justice, intact. Not just have him disappear again."
Lena "Venom" Oxton snorted, a little. "Might be right about Tracer. But for us - well, it's better than nothing."
Reyes breathed out. Good. "I'm putting together some plans, based upon your intel - and ours." He brought his right hand to his chin, thoughtfully. "I just wish we had a sniper. Closest we've got is Mei, and she's good with that ice pistol of hers, but it's not the same thing."
Venom thought about the problem, and a solution. Would Amélie be okay with it? Yes, she thought so. With the right conditions attached. Maybe even... proud. Let's float it. "You might. Have a sniper, I mean."
Gabriel tilted his head and stared into the screen. "...Amélie's suddenly willing to work with me?"
"No," Venom said. "But I am."
"Since when are you a sniper?"
Another snort. "C'mon, mate, how long have I been with the world's best sniper? Like I've told Winston - she teaches me her tricks."
"I can't see how you have the patience for it. How good are you?"
"I'm good, mate. Not Amélie good, but... good. Very good."
Gabe looked dubiously at her, through the screen. "How very good?"
Venom thought about it. "I keep a list of better snipers than me, right? Amélie's on top, of course; Zhanna Orlov's below her, Shimada Hanzo a few steps down, all that."
She's good enough to keep that list? he thought. But aloud, he kept it to, "Sure."
"Everyone on that list keeps a list like it. Amélie's still on top, but theirs has a question mark, down... maybe below number ten? But on the list."
"And that's you?"
Venom smiled. "Can't confirm that, luv. But."
"You willing to demonstrate that at the embassy?"
"Maybe. There's conditions." She looked thoughtful, glancing down to the side. "I have to check with Amélie. She might veto this."
Gabriel nodded. Talon secret tech, or something like it. Fair enough. "Let me know. It sure would be nice to have a sniper available."
"Honest, luv, it's me," came her voice through the door speaker. "Horizon Angle Delta Vector Seventeen Nine Seven Nine Banana Clown."
The gorilla opened the door, still wary, and Lena Oxton stepped inside out of the sunlight. In the office, she looked less blue around the edges, thanks to the warm lighting overhead, but the tint was still there, and her goggles had a fleet of extra red eyes, in mobile plates, along the sides and top. "I wanted to arrive dressed as Tracer, so's nobody'd notice, but..." She pressed buttons on her grapple, now equipped with familiar and frightening extras, and her suit changed to black and green. "Mockingbird reporting for sniper duty."
"Lena, what did you do?!"
She smiled in a broad way, most unlike her spider, and most like herself. It helped, a little. "Nothin' permanent. I swear. This is just what I look like when I'm a sniper."
Gabriel and Angela came up the stairs to the ambassador's office, and froze in their tracks at Winston and Lena. Angela shrieked a little, and Gabriel shuddered. "That... that is... deeply disturbing. Lena, are you still you?" asked the doctor.
Gold-tinted eyes - regular brown still visible underneath, if you looked closely - darted to Dr. Ziegler. "Guess I shoulda warned ya, huh? Yeh, it's still me in here." Her voice was the slightest bit slower and lower than usual, but clearly still hers.
"What have you done to yourself?!" Angela leaned forward, and Mockingbird stepped fluidly back, with an ah-ah-ah finger motion. "Sorry, doc, no scans. That's the rule if I'm gonna be here like this."
"I wasn't going to. Is it, is it..."
"Permanent? Nah. Nothin' to it, really. Some drugs, some other tricks."
That's a lie, thought the doctor. "Why?!"
"All the sniper traits. Night distance vision. Stability, in motion. Patience - well, for me, anyway. Stillness, too - I can stop my heart for three minutes in this mode and be just fine. But I keep my twitch reflex, and the energy I store up is barmy! I won't need to eat for four days. Which is good," she joked, "'cause don't ask me to read a menu in the dark right now."
Gabriel shook his head back and forth. "Your whole organisation is not right in the brain."
Mockingbird laughed, a very Tracer-like laugh, and that, too, helped. "When we're on the range, I'm gonna be even scarier. I'll ramp down my emotions s'more and turn the spider all the way up." She brought up her vizor's extensions, and her goggles' primary field went dark red.
Winston reached out to her, without words, and she took his hand. "Or maybe I won't." She reset the vizor to standard mode. "Didn't think you'd be this fruck out, big guy. It's okay, honest."
"You weren't here when Amélie killed Gérard, you don't..." He felt her hand. "You're cool to the touch," he said, quietly.
"Not that cool. Just enough to avoid bein' picked up on infrared. Won't fool the best models, but it helps."
"Please say you aren't turning into Amélie. I... I don't want you turning into Amélie."
Mockingbird snickered, saying, "Well, they do say married couples start to look alike," and activated the vizor again.
"Lena, no! Be serious! I don't want to lose you."
She smiled, waved the magnifiers away, and held her friend's hand against her face. "Aw, luv, no. I like who I am. This is fun, but not... as fun. It'll all go away later. But right now, you need a sniper." She lowered his hand, and patted his shoulder. "I can shed most of this in about an hour, if I really need to."
"That's all it takes?" asked the Swiss doctor.
"For me? Yeh, in an emergency. I can throw 'bout half of it off in under a minute, if I really gotta - but it hurts like the dickens."
Gabriel shook his head. Crazy people, Talon - all of 'em. "Where's your rifle?"
Mockingbird, it seemed, had Lena Oxton's famous half-grin, and she flashed it, and flipped her pistols. "Right here." She popped them together, they locked, and the barrel extended. From a pouch, she pulled out a surprisingly conventional-looking scope, which snapped right on top. "But: ground rules. One: no scans. Sorry, doc. Two: I'm not Tracer, I'm Mockingbird. Stick to it, I mean it. No "Lena," no "Tracer," not outside this office. Three: nobody, and I mean nobody, touches my tech but me. Anyone does, I walk away completely, and for good. No more Mockingbird, and" - she said this slowly, and clearly - "no. more. Tracer. either."
She waited a moment to make sure all that had sunk in. "These are the terms. Otherwise, I leave now, no harm done, and Tracer comes back tomorrow wondering if she missed anything. Agreed?"
"Le... Mockingbird, this cannot be good for you," said Angela. "I promise, just a circulatory..."
"No," the sniper said firmly. "None."
The doctor sighed. "You are not the only one here who experiments with her body in extreme ways. You are stressing it more than I think you know. I want to help."
"We do this before breakfast, luv. But, y'know, if you ever want to switch teams, you could do all the scans you..."
"I don't think so," the doctor interrupted. "But how am I going to know how to treat you in the field, if necessary?"
Mockingbird tipped her head, and smiled. "I'll give you this." She held up a small memory card. "Complete treatment protocols for anything that has to happen faster than a Talon extraction team can reach me. You can have it once everything's settled."
"I insist that I be allowed to practice these protocols. At least the physicality of them. In battle," she did not really have to say, "it matters."
"Ah, yeah! As long as your nanos aren't taking samples, that's fine."
"And may I please, at least, examine you later? When this is over? To be sure you've handled this well? Your own doctors may want that data."
Mockingbird thought about it. The compassion was genuine, she was pretty sure, but so was the desperate curiosity to know how all this worked. There would be things for her to find, later, but little she wouldn't've had a chance to see before, and she'd be looking in all the wrong places... good enough, she decided. "They'll already have it, but - deal."
"Thank you." The doctor looked a little bit relieved, if still more than a little concerned. "I accept."
"Winston? How 'bout it?"
"Gabriel, are you willing to work under these conditions?"
The former Blackwatch head nodded. "I've worked under way worse than this. I'm good. Uh, I... accept the terms?"
"Oh, right," said the assassin, "This has to be for the whole organisation." She switched to Tracer colours, and said, "On behalf of Overwatch, I, Lena "Tracer" Oxton, agree to the terms of Mockingbird's service," before switching back. "Sounds like a bloody software license, don't it? That just leaves you, Winston. And Mei, but she's not here yet."
"I don't like it," said the gorilla. "But... deal. No scans, no handling, no anything."
Mockingbird smiled. "Brilliant!" She tossed Angela the memory card. "Have fun with that. The rest of us - let's go shoot some wings off mosquitoes!"
"We've been over this," responded Gabriel, watching as she took the head off a second target on the way down, before even landing on her cliffside perch. "We want him alive." He took notes that started with 'Terrifying in flight.'
"And we want him dead," she retorted. "I want him dead. Don't get me wrong, Gabe, I'm here, I'm goin' along with your plan, but alive's not the sniper's job." From that upper perch, she hit three for four on moving ground targets. Two headshots, one ricochet shot that missed, a follow-up direct shot leaving a grazed neck. That last one would walk away, with medical aid. "Damn."
'Never really stops moving,' the new Overwatch tactics expert added to his notes. 'Highly mobile.' "We just want the tactical visor gone."
She spun around from her nest and ticked a faceplate off the sixth target dummy. "And that's a headshot."
"Tracer's not here, luv."
"Hiya!" She triggered reload, and launched herself to the second perch. He noted she wasn't jinking at all, no teleports, no rewinds, just running, moving with the grapple, and nothing else. Still all about movement, though.
Bang, target down. "No additional shots after the visor's gone." He could almost feel her dirty look from the ground. Bang, another ricochet shot, target missed.
She landed, swore, and took a second shot on the second target, moving within her section's perch point for a direct shot, taking the dummy down. "Not even to save another agent?" She ran a strafe pattern against moving dummies, bang, bang, bang. Four for three, including a domino shot. All perfect.
Jesus, she's good, Gabriel thought. Maybe not Amari good, those ricochet shots aren't working, but... Aloud, he said, "Except to save another agent."
"Short day for me, then." Another reload, and she launched herself into the air, diving to the final shooting perch. Gabriel surprised her with three airborne targets. Bang, down, bang, down, bang, bang, down. "Seems a shame if I have to get all gussied up." She landed and rolled to the third sighting point.
"A short day would be very, very good indeed."
Three fast targets, running along the ground, zagging, all with faceplates - the most human of them all. Three shots, three faceplates off, all targets down. "My way would be even shorter."
"Mockingbird. Please. I know what you are. Don't make it harder."
Lena Oxton breathed in, carefully. She wondered, occasionally, how long she could make this Talon-Overwatch joint arrangement last, and this was one of those times. It's for the best, she reminded herself. If, occasionally, a right pain in the arse. "Sorry, Gabe. I'm workin' so hard to remind everyone it's me in here, maybe I overdid it a bit. Is that it for the first round?"
"Yeah, that's the first set. What'd you think?"
"I liked the surprise skeet, that was fun! But I was sloppy. I can do better, if I drop the banter. And nothin' returned fire!"
"This is a target range, not a combat simulator, what'd you expect?"
"Might fix that."
"If we had the money. You're supposed to know that."
"Maybe Tracer's supposed to know that - I'm not."
Right, he thought. "Mockingbird, secure weapon, and return to start. We'll reset the range for another round."